BBC Radio 3 is to cancel regular programmes for 12 hours on 30 October to air River of Music non-stop.
The broadcast will see a curated playlist of 70 pieces played between 9am and 9pm without any speech at all, as part of the celebrations around the 70th anniversary of Radio 3’s predecessor the Third Programme.
While the river flows on-air, online there will be a full listing of all the music played. Listeners can be part of the conversation about River of Music by following Radio 3 on social media platforms and contributing to a live blog on the Radio 3 website, hosted by Essential Classics presenters Sarah Walker and Rob Cowan. A host of images, videos and features will be posted by Radio 3 throughout the day.
The music played will encompass a number of genres, from classical to jazz, world, medieval, electronic, and even TV scores. The full playlist, which will not be revealed until the broadcast, contains works which are each connected to a particular year and a historical, political or cultural happening with musical resonance at the time.
Radio 3 Controller Alan Davey says: “When the Third Programme first took to the airwaves, one of its founding aims was to connect audiences with remarkable, undiluted music and culture of all types, without being too constrained by a rigid schedule. Over the next seven decades, the Third – and then Radio 3 – would become known for regularly putting out long works of music and drama in full, and broadcasting every single BBC Proms concert each year. In devoting a whole day of programming to an uninterrupted stream of music, River of Music is a continuation of this philosophy, and shows that the pioneering spirit of the Third is alive and well in Radio 3.”
River of Music is a Somethin’ Else production for BBC Radio 3.